Chatting with my Editor Part 3

For those just tuning in - I've been posting a chat with my editor of nine years!  To read part 1, click here:  and to read part 2, click here:

MTH: And while the manuscript bits are happening, we're also trying to find the perfect cover and copy to represent the book. How do you find that process?

MVS: I always feel out of the loop when it comes to the covers for my books.  I know I fill out an art fact sheet about my books, including character descriptions, synopsis, visual elements, etc...  But after that, I've no idea how the artists, photographers and designers take those comments and transform them into a beautiful cover.  I did enjoy the few times I was able to "help."   It was fun picking the direction of the cover model's gaze for INSIDE OUT.  And I tell everyone the glass starfish on the cover of SEA GLASS is yours.  I would love to be more involved, but realize I'm already busy enough and designing covers is NOT my expertise.  Plus I love them all so I've no complaints.

FYI: Since I was a part of INSIDE OUT's cover, here's the process of going from a concept to the final cover (with email comments):

Email from MTH: Just wanted to give you a heads up on the concept we’ll be working with for INSIDE OUT.
The type is wrong, of course, and the heroine is too old with too much makeup. However, the overall concept of her tearing through something, is one that we all found appealing. It’s simple, bright and quite effective we think.
And here's the two pictures of the model for me to choose from - in one of the draft covers right after the concept, the model was looking over the reader's shoulder. Trella wouldn't hesitate to met anyone gaze so and they agreed to change it :)
Email from MTH - I’m leaning toward 88 but some like 65.
Thoughts on which I should encourage? (It will be cropped to match the other image)
We do realize the model’s eyes are blue, and you’ve got brown, so we’re torn. The blue pops and we could use it in the type color to set it off. Can we change Trella’s eye color, or should we change this model’s to brown?

I liked #65 - and I agreed with the blue eyes "popping" so I incorporated her blue eyes into the story.  Then they added the right model and came up with this cover:

Which is still different than the final cover art:

Now back to the chat!

As for the cover copy, I'm so very glad you write them (or your editorial assistant).  I would find it impossible to boil down a hundred thousand word novel into two paragraphs. And it's a fun reversal of roles when I get the chance to edit your copy ;>

Mary-Theresa -- After the cover and copy are finalized, how much do you get involved with the marketing and publicity of my books?

Find out the answer in my next blog post!


  1. I love all the Aussie covers. They are great works!

  2. I can't remember that far back, but I think I wrote--or definitely rewrote--the copy on those books! We've got some strong copywriters, but it really needs to fit the particular book and story and author's style as well to be completely successful. And it's always great when there's something fantastic to work with, of course! :)

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